The Locomotives of the North Eastern Railway, 1854 – 1905, by J.S. Maclean, R.Robson & Co.1906. [ebook]


The Locomotives of the North Eastern Railway, 1854 – 1905, by J.S. Maclean, R.Robson & Co. 1906. Hard back book, 8.50”x 6.50”pp. 143, gold embossed cover, with “Z” class Atlantic, full page frontispiece, Royal Train on High Level Bridge, 1903, 60 B&W half-tone or line illustrations.


This is the third of the classic single company loco histories published in the early years of the last century. (The others, for the LBSCR and the GNR, both available from us). It is perhaps not quite as comprehensive as the others, but then Frank Burtt had access to records at Brighton, of a type not preserved by the NER, and Bird had a more straightforward story to tell for the GNR.

The author had some official help, and also information and assistance from W.W. Tomlinson, and E.L. Ahrons. A revised edition, in a larger format with stiff paper covers was published in 1923, taking the story down to the end of the NER, but it lacks the elegance of design of the 1906 edition.

My rather worn, and obviously much read copy, bears the stamp and signature of T.H. Matthewson-Dick, who was almost universally known as “Tommy”. His grandfather had been with the NER before working on Indian railways. His father worked in the Electrical Department of the NER on Tyneside. Tommy travelled to school in Newcastle by electric train, and it was natural for him to contemplate a career in Electrical Department, but the requirements for a Whitworth Scholarship demanded a wider experience and he moved to Gateshead Works and steam traction while studying at Rutherford Technical College, Newcastle. He worked for the Running Department under J. H. Smeddle and gained experience with water tube boilers: Woolnough on Sentinel railcars and Yarrow on No. 10,000, the “HushHush”. He had been Technical Assistant to the Locomotive Running Superintendent, North Eastern Area of the LNER when appointed District Locomotive Superintendent, York in 1947, having been previously been shedmaster at Newport (Middlesbrough), Haymarket and St. Margarets in Edinburgh. In 1956 he became Assistant Motive Power Superintendent for the North Eastern Region and in 1962 Chief Mechanical and Electrical Engineer of the Western Region. Tommy was President Inst. Loco. E in 1967-68.



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